During Monday night’s edition of “The Jump” on ESPN, Tracy McGrady recalled one of the chilling things that Kobe Bryant had told him years ago. McGrady, who made the leap from high school to the NBA just one year after Kobe did, explained that Bryant always used to say that he wanted to die young and be immortalized.
“He used to say all the time, ‘I want to die young,’” McGrady said of Bryant. “He used to say ‘I want to die young. I want to be immortalized. I want to have my career be better than Michael Jordan’s, and I want to die young.’
“I just thought he was so crazy for saying that.”
When asked by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, McGrady clarified that Kobe’s comments came during his younger days, well before he was a father of four daughters. Says McGrady, “Clearly that statement was way before kid. I’m sure that when he had kids, he didn’t have the mindset.”
Check out the full clip in the video embedded below.
In addition to all of his on-court achievements, Bryant also experienced a tremendous amount of success in his post-NBA life, including an Oscar for his short animated film, “Dear Basketball.” Most of all, Kobe’s closest friends remember him as a loving father and husband who cherished his family more than any of his other accolades.